Books as data (“non display”)
Books utilized by Google many ways
Selling books directly not a primary gain
Fact mining benefits long tail search queries
Latent semantic analysis benefits general search
Significant advertising income yield.
Song, dance with publishers over opt-in
(Some publishers submit opt-out lists)
5 of 6 largest NYC publishers file suit
Not a class action then (among publishers)
Settlement talks commence in great secrecy
Scanning continues for > 2 years meantime
Show me the money
G is able to make “display uses” of OOP books
unless rightsholder (RH) objects.
In-print titles require explicit RH opt-in
Revenue (generally 37% G / 63% BRR):
consumer sales of books (not downloads)
institutional subscriptions (ISD)
print fees from public libraries
Ads from search queries
Initial announcement on 10/28/2009
First deadline for briefs: 09/04/2009
> 400 submissions, 95 % critical
DOJ issues sharp critique:
“As presently drafted, the Proposed Settlement
does not meet the legal standards this Court must
Amended Settlement schedule
Amended settlement filed: 11/13/2009
New deadline for briefs: 01/28/2010
Justice deadline: 02/04/2010 * 1-week later
Fairness hearing: 02/18/2010
Publishers can claim OOP books but migrate future
electronic business uses to private contract basis.
Trade publishers likely remove most of their
attractive catalog to Partners / Editions.
“It is noteworthy that the parties have indicated their
belief that the largest publisher plaintiffs are likely to
choose to negotiate their own separate agreements
with Google ...”
AG/AAP have negotiated a deal binding millions
of other right holders, but not themselves.
If the settlement is a fair resolution and a fair
allocation, why are not all bound to it?
The corpus in the GBS ISD and for public access has
already shrunk by about half because the amended
GBS settlement excludes most non-English books.
Copyright past | future
Lengthening of copyright terms
● Else everything prior 1954 would be PD
Cultural organizations seek to digitize analog to
preserve and provide maximal Fair Use access.
Congress failed to pass OW legislation.
● Understanding of issues for unclaimed creative
works has matured.
Copyright Office renewal records not digitized fully.
● Need a public registry.
Makes orphan legislation less compelling
Skews toward escrow and commercial uses.
Likely to induce further class actions for additional
media (eg LPs) to circumvent legislative process.
Private corporations (like G) can use this precedent
as a lever to force settlements.
Endangers tradition of Fair Use Doctrine.
Is this the way democracy should work?
U.S. Dept of Justice:
“... the central difficulty that the Proposed Settlement
seeks to overcome – the inaccessibility of many works
due to the lack of clarity about copyright ownership
and copyright status – is a matter of public, not merely
We can do better
A public utility supporting market
competition and better open access –
international cooperative framework
digital deposit of new works with LoC
creation of public rights registry database
complementary legislation to support public
access to unclaimed works
Some slides derived from:
“GBS as Private @ Reform”
Copyright Culture, Copyright History
Tel Aviv, Israel, January 2010
Pamela Samuelson, UC Berkeley
co-founder, open books alliance
- and -
director, bookserver project
internet archive, san francisco, ca
peter (at) archive.org